16 Oct Career Story – James Griffin (Project Manager)
James Griffin, Project Manager in the WWA Truro office, shares his career story:
What is your background and how did you get into Construction?
My family runs a construction business, which I have been involved with from an early age. I have, therefore, grown up immersed in the construction sector.
My first taste of construction outside the family business, came from an opportunity to work abroad as a labourer and later, as a trade supervisor. I was 18 at the time and learnt very quickly that hard work pays off in construction.
From my experiences, I knew that construction was my calling. I was excited at the thought of shaping the built environment and generating benefits for local communities. This gave me the drive to develop my skills and knowledge and embark on a career in construction.
Tell us what the day job looks like?
My day job is always people centric. I spend a lot of my time communicating and coordinating teams, including specialists, such as Architects and Engineers. Effective project management that is valuable to a client manages individual team members needs and outputs to achieve a collective goal, much like a conductor of an orchestra.
Creating and maintaining close client relationships is very important. I help to provide reassurance for clients, by demonstrating technical expertise, professionalism and the ability to manage the unknown.
I am also responsible for programme management, contract administration, quality control, risk mitigation and site supervision.
Tell us about your degree and APM progression?
I have a BSc (Hons) in Construction Management and the Environment. Studying for this degree gave me the opportunity to develop my knowledge in areas of construction, such as; construction law, Building Information Modelling (BIM), technology and management techniques.
Attending University allowed me to establish a large friendship group with future construction industry professionals. I am in regular contact with these friends, which gives me a network of contacts from around the country that I can call on.
I am a qualified Project Manager (PMQ) through the Association of Project Managers (APM) as well as being an Associate member of the APM. Being qualified, as well as being a member of the APM provides verification of my expertise through independent assessment of my skills and knowledge. It also underpins my role in the construction industry and the value that I can bring to a project.
In the future, I also want to become chartered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and a full member of the APM.
Would you recommend a career in construction to others?
Construction is a rewarding industry to work in. We all spend the majority of our lives in and around the built environment and at one-stage this was a project. I have a part to play in influencing project outcomes for the better of which is incredibly satisfying.
Construction can be challenging. However, for those who are eager to work in multi-faceted fast paced environments and are keen problem solvers, working in construction can provide a career with endless opportunities for progression and development.
Why did you choose to start your career in Cornwall?
I am from Bristol originally and my family and I used to visit Cornwall almost every weekend to surf and enjoy the coastline. I have always had fond memories of being in the county so when the opportunity to work with WWA Truro came up – I grabbed it!
Cornwall is an area of constant enterprise and innovation. I wanted to be a part of a company that embraced this ethos and Ward Williams Associates absolutely does. I have not looked back since joining WWA and deciding to move to Cornwall to live and work. I have a lifestyle that encompasses exciting work and plenty of play.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I aim to progress my career at WWA and lead a range of projects in the near future. Further down the line I hope to help steer WWA in forthcoming endeavours into new markets at home and abroad.
Further development of Constructing Excellence’s, Generation for Change (G4C) club in Cornwall is also a key aspiration of mine. My main directive is to provide a space for development and networking for the whole supply chain of Cornwall’s future construction industry.
If you are interested in careers in construction, please visit our current vacancies page.